Evil Eye Mass Market Paperback – 31 Jul 1997
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Top customer reviews
Zinc Chandler manages to survive the traumatic ending of Ripper to help Inspector Nick Craven figure out who is trying to frame him for murder. A killer with a penchant for dead Mounties is on the loose, and it's up to the Special X group to bring him in.
I liked this book for several reasons. First, not only did several of my favorite Slade characters return, but some of the more interesting survivors from Ripper made it back into the pages. I was especially happy to see Katt DeClerq, a smart-alecked teenager I could especially relate to, play a major role. Of course, what would a Slade book be without pages full of occult references, a little Mountie history and buckets of blood and guts.
One of my least favorite aspects might seem a little strange, but here goes. Evil Eye reads almost like a serial continuation of Ripper, picking up story-lines left dangling in the back of a Sladist's mind. In fact, several (too many!) pages of Ripper are reprinted in Evil Eye as an attempt to help readers 'catch up.' As a Sladist, I enjoyed the soap opera quality of the book. However, I try to read a book objectively, as if I know nothing about the people or the subject matter. Evil Eye, while a good book, should not be the first Slade title a person picks up: too many inside jokes and references to previous books.
Another of Slade's trademarks, the gut-twisting, surprise last-word-of-the-last-page ending left me feeling a little ripped off. While there was a nice twist, it didn't nearly warrant the build-up it got.
I can't trash a Slade book, but this really isn't quite up to par, I'm afraid.
I don't read Michael Slade for great writing or Literary merit. I read them because despite their faults, namely poor characterisation, they are quite readable. 'Evil Eye' however, is the worst in the series so far. Picking up many plot threads from 'Ripper' this like the other 'Special X' novels needs to be read in order. Even so many of the regulars are difficult to tell apart. The female characters are given particularly short shrift, one who really should know better, blithely puts herself into jeopardy. Though this does provide one of the better sequences of the book, the stupidity of her actions is frustrating. The main thing that kills this one is that the plot is boring. A huge plot twist is so obvious, the revelation of who the killer is so underwhelming, the book feels pointless. Even some deadly goings on in Africa count for nothing as these passages lack any atmosphere at all. The same goes for the Disaster Movie style climax which refuses to be anything other than dry and dull.
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